It’s officially over–tank tops and shorts have been replaced with jeans and a sweater. I’m drinking hot tea instead of lemon and mint-spiked ice water. The ice cream machine is at the back of the cupboard–but there’s a plum crisp in the oven.
But I think I can squeeze in one last summer recipe. As I close down the garden for the season, I’m left with a staggering amount of green tomatoes. I’ve finally accepted that they are not going to ripen come October, so it’s time to cry uncle and just pick them.
Some I may be able to ‘help’ ripen using the Christmas tomato method, but it is possible to cook with green tomatoes.
The most obvious is the best (in my opinion): Fried green tomatoes. Over the years I’ve made these baked, but last week I overcame my fear of deep-frying (kind of) and dove right in.
It was pretty easy (I’m sure it’s easier if you have some sort of fancy fryer), and the results were delicious. We ate them straight up with a Southwestern rice pilaf, but they’re also good on sandwiches in vegetarian tacos (think Baja, but with tomatoes instead of fish). If you still have some ripe tomatoes, make a killer BLT with fresh and fried green tomatoes.
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 large green tomatoes
sugar, salt and pepper for sprinkling
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cornmeal
Oil for frying
Additional kosher salt
Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and lay on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes until juicy.
Place flour, eggs and cornmeal each in their own shallow dish and prepare for dredging.
Dip each tomato slice in flour, then egg, then cornmeal. Lay on a clean baking sheet.
Heat oil to 365 degrees. I used about 3 inches of sunflower oil in a deep stockpot (in an attempt to reduce spattering). When oil comes to temperature, drop in three or four tomato slices (or however many fit comfortably in your pot) and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Remove from oil and place on cooling rack. Sprinkle with additional kosher salt.
Enjoy while watching the famous movie–don’t forget the napkins. (For wiping hands, and tears.)